Abyss Rising Overview Part 8: The Rest

9 Jan

As with every set there are cards which can be a bit hard to categorise, or otherwise fall into very narrow categories. So as usual I’m going to fill an article with all of these leftover cards. The include removal cards, negation card and several new ways to steal your opponent’s monsters.

Bull Blader: Level 4 1600/1200 Earth Warrior

When an attack is declared involving this card and an opponent’s monster: You can activate this effect; during this battle involving this monster, neither player takes any battle damage, also destroy the opponent’s monster after damage calculation.

Bull Blader is a useful new warrior card that will usually at least force an even trade off with the opponent. Bull Blader will be an excellent card for cutting through defenses, but can also deal with bigger monsters as well. Anything in defense position will be an easy kill for him, allowing you to breach huge defenses, battle immune monsters like Spirit Reaper, and stop Battle Recruiters getting their search effects. When the opponent does go on the offensive he’ll at least take a card down with him though, and he can similarly be used to suicide with an opponent’s powerful monster.

The fact he prevents battle damage to either player with this effect will usually work to your advantage, since often only you would have taken damage anway, for example from monsters with high defense or higher attack. It would probably be rare to stop you causing more than a couple of hundred damage to the opponent anyway.

Achacha Chanbara: Level 3 1400/400 Fire Warrior

During either player’s turn, when a card or effect is activated that will inflict damage when it resolves: You can Special Summon this card from your hand, and if you do, inflict 400 damage to your opponent.

Achacha Chanbara is similar to Damage Mage and Eco from last set, except instead of responding to your opponent’s burn effects he can be used in combination with any burn effect. Following this he can also be used to try and inflict a little battle damage to the opponent as well.

Unfortunately in terms of counteracting your opponent’s cards, then Eco would still be better (not accounting for the many other better ways of stopping burn). If you want to use it in combination with your own burn cards, then you’d simply be better off playing another burn card instead. The damage he causes is minimal, and it’s doubtful he’d be able to cause any battle damage with only 1400 attack.

Mogmole: Level 2 800/800 Earth Beast

When this card on the field is destroyed and sent to the Graveyard: You can Special Summon it from your Graveyard in face-up Defense Position. You can only use the effect of “Mogmole” once per Duel.

Mogmole is yet another way to maintain a little bit of field presence, which can then be used for Tribute summons or Xyz summons. In terms of uses for tribute summons, there already exist plenty of cards that will fill this role better though. For Xyz summons he could be used to summon Rank 2s more easily, but most decks that can regularly make Rank 2s (like Agents or Frogs) will not need the extra help.

At a very basic level he could also be used to simply block an extra attack.

Planet Pathfinder: Level 4 1000/1000 Earth Machine

You can Tribute this card; add 1 Field Spell Card from your Deck to your hand.

Planet Pathfinder is a monster version of Terraforming, but in most scenarios Terraforming or the theme specific Field card searchers would be better. Terraforming has the advantage of being faster, and not needing to use up your normal summon. Whereas Planet Pathfinder is a monster, meaning it can be used as a defender in desperate situations, or used for an Xyz summon, which is something Terraforming cannot do. This means it’s not completely useless when you run out of Field cards.

I still think the older cards will usually be better though.

House Duston: Level 1 0/1000 Light Fiend

When this face-up card on the field is destroyed by your opponent’s card (either by battle, and it was face-up at the start of the Battle Step, or by card effect) and sent to the Graveyard: You can Special Summon any “Duston” monsters of your choice from you hand and/or Deck to anywhere on the field, but you must Special Summon an equal number on each side.

House Duston is an interesting monster, the full power of which we won’t be seeing for a long time. Right now all it can do is give you an extra blocker, whilst unfortunately also giving your opponent an extra monster. As it stands there is very little reason to use House Duston, but this will change with future sets. It seems like Konami has plans to release the individual Duston, and seem like they’ll be used to clog the opponent’s field with useless cards.

Missing Force: Level 4 1500/1000 Dark Warrior

If you control no other monsters: You can Tribute this card to target 1 monster your opponent controls; take control of it until the End Phase. You cannot Special Summon or conduct your Battle Phase the turn you activate this effect.

Missing Force is another retrained Exiled Force, except this time instead of killing another monster it steals them instead. However there are some severe restrictions on this that damages the playability of the card.

Since you cannot Special summon during the turn you use this effect, you can’t turn the stolen monster into an Xyz before the end of the turn.  You also can’t conduct your battle phase, so you’ll be unable to deal damage or take out any of your opponent’s other monsters. It also uses up your Normal summon for the turn, so you will be unable to use the stolen monster for a Tribute summon. This basically means that the vast majority of the time you’ll just end up handing the monster back.

Unless you manage to steal something like Dark Armed Dragon you really won’t be able to do much with the monster, and won’t actually be able to get rid of it.

The only real way around this would be to use a card like Mystic Tomato or Call of the Haunted to summon them during the opponent’s turn, and then use the stolen monster for a Tribute summon on your turn. This may well be more effort than it’s worth though.

Forbidden Dress: Quickplay Spell Card

Target 1 face-up monster on the field; until the End Phase, that target loses 600 ATK, but it cannot be targeted or destroyed by other card effects.

Forbidden Dress is the latest of the ‘Forbidden’ items alongside the Chalice and Lance. Like all the others it modifies a monster’s attack, whilst also applying a bonus effect. In this case it grants immunity to targeting and destruction.

Immunity to targeting might seem useful on the surface, but when you realise it won’t stop effects that have already targeted the monster, you realise that this part of the effect will rarely do anything useful. To actually stop targeting you’ll have to use it preemptively, guessing what your opponent may have. This could often end up being wasted if this is your plan.

Immunity to destruction is the far more useful part though, since it can protect your monster and help maintain your field presence. However compared to Forbidden Lance which can protect from all Spell and Trap cards the only extra protection this gives is from Monsters. The problem there is that there’s a reasonable chance that if you’ve used Forbidden Dress to stop a monster from destroying yours with their effect, they’ll now be able to kill your monster in battle.

In most scenarios you will probably be better off sticking to Forbidden Lance instead.

Mind Pollutant: Normal Spell Card

Discard 1 monster to target 1 monster of that Level your opponent controls; take control of that target until the End Phase.

Mind Pollutant is a newer version of cards like Brain Control and Change of Heart, except it comes with a higher cost and more restrictions than those much older banned cards. Mind Pollutant requires you to have a monster in your hand, and not just that, but one that matches a monster on your opponent’s side of the field. In most cases this will probably mean you’ll be stealing  a Level 4 monster. Sometimes it will mean there’s a complete mismatch of cards and you’ll be unable to use it though.

Fortunately though once you’ve stolen the monster there are no restrictions on what you can do with it, so you’ll be able to turn it against its old owner.

The Humble Sentry: Normal Spell Card

Reveal your hand, choose 1 card from it, and shuffle it into the Deck.

This is clearly a joke card and a reverse Forceful Sentry. There’s no reason to use this unless you’re intent on taunting your opponent.

Battle Break: Normal Trap Card

When an opponent’s monster declares an attack: Your opponent can reveal 1 monster in their hand to negate this card’s effect, otherwise destroy the attacking monster, then end the Battle Phase.

Battle Break is the latest in a long line of traps which are capable of ending the Battle Phase, but offers both advantages and disadvantages compared to the other versions. The main advantage it offers is that it actually gets rid of the attacking monster, something cards like Threatening Roar cannot do. This means you can deal with threats immediately, rather than delay it for a turn, whilst also protecting yourself from follow up attacks. However you’ll still have to deal with those other cards afterwards.

On the other hand this card has disadvantages when compared to some of the other cards which end or skip the Battle Phase. For one, it’s not chainable, meaning you can’t use it to draw out your opponent’s Spell / Trap removal, whilst still keeping yourself protected. The biggest problem with this card though, is the drawback attached to the fact you’re getting a more powerful effect. Your opponent can simply reveal a monster in their hand to stop this card.

As a result, this card is wildly inconsistent and likely to fail more often than not. If you play a stall deck, your opponent’s hand will likely be clogged with monsters, making it useless. If you play a normal deck, the best time to use Battle Break would be when you’re both running out of resources, since it’s less likely to be stopped. However even then, the only time you could guarantee it working would be when your opponent has no hand.

In general you’d be better off sticking to cards which destroy / banish monsters, like Mirror Force or Dimensional Prison, or simply end / skip the battle phase, such as Threatening Road or Thunder of Ruler, rather than mixing them in Battle Break.

Memory of an Adversary: Normal Trap Card

When an opponent’s monster declares an attack: You take damage equal to the attacking monster’s ATK, and if you do, banish that monster. During the End Phase of your opponent’s next turn, Special Summon that monster to your side of the field.

Memory of an Adversary is a potentially useful Trap card that allows you to steal one of your opponent’s monsters, and permanently too. However it has restrictive activation requirements, and could hurt you quite a lot. Unlike other cards which allow you to steal cards from your opponent when you want to, this has to wait for your opponent to attack. Usually this shouldn’t be too hard, but it does mean you can’t touch a monster your opponent refuses to attack with. On top of this you’ll also take damage equal to the monster’s attack, meaning that after a certain point this card becomes useless. It also doesn’t offer much in the way of immediate protection. You will also need to wait an entire turn before you get their monster. In the intervening time it might become irrelevant or you could lose in that time. You will definitely need a plan for how you’ll survive that extra turn, because this card certainly cannot be used as last ditch protection.

However once you do steal the monster you get to keep it and do whatever you want with it. There are also a few advantages offered by this card over conventional methods of stealing monsters. Firstly it doesn’t target, allowing you to get around cards with immunity to that. It also Special summons your opponent’s monster back to the field, potentially allowing you to reuse some effects. This does however leave the monster open to cards like Bottomless Trap Hole or Torrential Tribute though.

Magic Deflector: Normal Trap Card

For the rest of this turn, negate all Equip, Field, Continuous and Quick-Play Spell Card effects on the field.

Magic Deflector is a similar card to Trap Stun, except of course for Spell cards, but it isn’t quite as far reaching. Rather than stopping all Spell cards for the turn, it excludes normal and Ritual Spell cards from its influence, not that many people use the latter. This means it can’t be used as an easy one turn answer to Spell cards, and will instead be relegated to helping defeat more specific decks. This is because for most standard decks its power won’t often extend beyond stopping Mystical Space Typhoon.

Magic Deflector would could be used to slow down decks that rely on Continuous / Field cards, like Samurai or Gravekeepers. Or alternatively break through cards like Level Limit Area B that are slowing you down.

I don’t think this card is likely to be anything more than a potential Side Deck card, and even then this would be entirely dependent on what decks are popular at the time.

That Wacky Alchemy!: Normal Trap Card

If a face-up Spell Card(s) in your opponent’s Spell & Trap Card Zones is sent to the Graveyard: You can Target 1 face-up monster on the field; destroy that target.

That Wacky Alchemy! is an interesting Trap card, offering targettd removal against your opponent’s monsters, or if you’re desperate your own. Compared to other targeted removal, it trades off a cost or later drawback in favour of a restrictive activation requirement. Fortunately though, this isn’t as hard to achieve as you might initially think.

At first glance you might wonder how you’d ever be able to use this card against the majority of decks, since they don’t play Equip, Field or Continuous Spell cards, making it quite difficult for a face up Spell card to make it to the graveyard. What you may not realise, is that any Spell card that your opponent plays will be face up on the field when they activate it. This means that any time they activate a normal or Quick-Play Spell card, once it’s resolved, you’ll be able to use That Wacky Alchemy!.

However, since this card will rely on what your opponent, you may find it too restrictive. Sometimes it will be a deadly surprise for the opponent. Other times you’ll end up stuck with it for ages waiting to do something with it, only for it to be destroyed by Mystical Space Typhoon. I suspect that for a fair few decks, only about a quarter of it will set this card off. The deck that this will probably work best against is Prophecy, which will be making use of a lot of Spell Cards.

Cash Back: Counter Trap Card

When your opponent activates a Spell/Trap Card, or monster effect, by paying their Life Points: Negate the activation, and if you do, return it to the Deck.

Cash Back is a Counter Trap that can ruin cards with a Life Point cost, which are usually very powerful effects. What’s more it sends them back to the deck, which is both a blessing and a curse. It will allow your opponent to reuse the card, should they draw it, which is not usually something you can do with Spell / Trap cards. However it does prevent them from immediately reviving a monster, which is a bonus. There’s no guarantee they’ll ever see the card again that game, but you’ll probably be a bit annoyed if you stop their power card, but see it again in a few turns.

The problem though is finding cards to use this on. The most common would of course be one of the Solemn Trio, but even these aren’t used by every deck. Outside of these it’s fairly rare to see cards with Life Points costs used, but you will find them in a few themed decks, such as Venus in Agents and Judgment Dragon in Lightsworn.

Unification: Continuous Trap Card

Once per turn, during each player’s Standby Phase: The turn player declares a Level from among the face-up monster they control, then sends all face-up monsters they control with a different Level to the Graveyard.

Unification is similar to Gozen Match and Rivalry of Warlords except for Levels, however it imposes much looser restrictions on the game. Instead of restricting what Levels you can have on the field at a time, it repeatedly gets rid of those which don’t match. This can potentially get rid of cards much faster, but doesn’t slow down the pace of the game, and mess up your opponent’s plans as much as the older cards.

Since you can still play cards of whatever Level you like during your turn, you will still be able to conduct your turns as normal, something you are usually unable to do under Rivalry or Gozen. On the one hand it means you’ll have to adjust your strategies less to accommodate this card, but on the other it means you won’t be able to shut down your opponent’s most powerful plays. Another matter to consider is that because it only affects Levels, meaning Xyz monsters are free from it’s influence, which, as with the rest of the card, is both a blessing and a curse.

The timing for this effect is also not particularly convenient, activating during the Standby Phase. This is probably the least effective time it could activate, since it’s likely to be when a player’s field is least powerful, having just taken hits from the opponent’s attacking force, and it allows for the field to be rebuilt each turn, preventing the other player from taking full advantage of any gaps this card creates.

Compared to its older relatives I don’t think Unification offers a great enough degree of disruption to the flow of the game. In addition, since most decks now focus on Xyz summoning, it wouldn’t be uncommon for this card to do nothing for several turns, either due to the presence of Xyz monsters, or just monsters with matching Levels.

Retort: Counter Trap Card

What did I do wrong? Why's everyone unhappy with me?

When your opponent activates a Spell/Trap Card with the same name as one in your Graveyard: Negate the activation, and if you do, destroy that card. Then you can add 1 card with that name from your Graveyard to your hand.

The final card from the original set is Retort, a powerful Counter Trap that would probably find most use in mirror matches. When used successfully Retort could turn the tide of the game, but how often this will happen is another matter.

In general there are some cards that most decks will play. In terms of Spells this usually consists of Monster Reborn, Dark Hole, Heavy Storm and probably Mystical Space Typhoon. For Traps this may include the Solemn Trio, Torrential Tribute, Bottomless Trap Hole and Mirror Force. These are all powerful cards and the ability to stop them whilst returning your own copy to your hand is undeniably a useful effect. Not only could this ruin your opponent’s plans, but it could also give yours a sudden boost. However this is only a handful of cards, and you can’t guarantee you’ll be able to use Retort when they are played. During the early parts of the game it’s also likely that Retort will be dead, because you won’t have drawn and used these cards for yourself.

As mentioned above, Retort would find its best uses in mirror matches, where in addition to all the regular shared Spell and Trap cards, you’ll also both be running theme specific cards as well. So for example with HERO decks you can add on cards like E-Emergency Call, Miracle Fusion and Hero Blast. Whether to Side Deck this card then comes down to how often you think you’d be facing the mirror match, and whether your deck actually has enough additional Spell / Trap cards to justify using Retort. If the deck only runs 1 or 2 extra cards it’ll not really be worth using Retort. Likewise if you reckon you’ll face very small numbers of mirror matches, it won’t be worth running just on the off chance you’ll meet the same deck. The space would instead be better suited to a card that could handle problem decks instead.

Now that we’re finally finished with the card from the original Abyss Rising set, it’s time to look at the World Exclusives and the OCG imports.

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